Linkedin Etiquette

posted by NextGen'rs |

Is there a greater fear than doing something really stupid on social media? Probably, but the social faux pas has to rank high in anxieties. The fear ratchets up a little on LinkedIn because this is supposed to be your “professional face,” your “employable brand”. So the rules of engagement are tighter, and yet the pressure is that you have to use the advantages of LinkedIn to network and find that dream job. So, we thought we’d make it easier on you, by listing the things you absolutely should NOT do on LinkedIn.

1. Craft a Good Thoughtful Network.

You don’t want to be too limiting, but you should be thoughtful about your network. Quality over quantity. When you hear someone has 2,000 friends on Facebook, what do you immediately think about that person? You probably think there’s a lot of superficiality brewing there.

2. Avoid Flagrant Self-Promotion.

This should seem a little paradoxical. You’re trying to promote yourself positively, but if this comes across, it will backfire. Go ahead and promote, say, an article you wrote or a project you’re on or a video you helped make, but be humble about it.

3. Give Thoughtful Recommendations and Request them.

There really is no greater authority on social media, maybe even the whole internet, than a thoughtful review from someone. Give and receive. Often.

4. Work the Top of the Page.

Above the fold or ATF content has more value to people. Describe what you do in human terms at the top of your profile. Don’t overdo the businesspeak or acronyms (like ATF, for example)

5. Be Gracious in Conversations.

You may have to hold back if you’re passionate. But it’s important to hold back. People remember good manners and want to work with people who espouse them.

6. It’s Free, but Be Diligent.

If you pay a lot of money for something, you’re less likely to let it go to waste. Avoid this mentality. What’s expensive is not using LinkedIn. This will cost you. Keep up with it every week. Set goals with it.

A good LinkedIn page isn’t the most important tool in finding the right job, but it’s no longer an optional tool. There’s more opportunity than reason for fear. Jump in and make the most of it.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Work Dread: Five Signs it’s Time to Move on

posted by NextGen'rs |

How rich are your fantasies around composing your resignation email? Have you already written a draft? What about frequency? Once a week? Once an hour?

There is no clean math for this, but there are signs to pay attention to, and if things really aren’t working out you probably have sensed this, and should trust that sense.

Here are the big signs:

1. You Really Really Hate Work.

Not like in school where everyone said they hated school but secretly liked it, but a real sense of physical dread.

2. Management Shows No Interest.

If you’ve stopped getting pulled into meetings, your stock has gone down and it might be time to move somewhere where you can be better valued.

3. You’ve Lost Interest.

Curiosity and passion are what create good work. If your job isn’t generating these things in you, then it’s time to find something that can churn these fires within.

4. Your Boss is Not Engaged or Well Respected.

You can hate your boss but still respect the doors and opportunities she or he opens for you. But if that’s not happening then your boss could be in your way, so you may have to fire him or her (i.e., get a new job).

5. It’s Taking a Big Toll on Your Health/Personal Life.

Many of us internalize stress and push it into all the wrong places. If a toxic worklife is starting to spillover, it may be time to get at the root cause.

It’s been said that you should start looking for a new job the first day you start a job. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s no fun to really dread work and feel unable to do anything about it. That means you should have your resume and portfolio up to date, expand your network and consider talking with a recruiter about what’s out there now. Do this now, before you feel those winds of change blowin’.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your New Job

posted by NextGen'rs |

Congrats on the new job. You get a clean slate, a chance to do everything right from the start, or at least get those embarrassing but necessary failures out of the way early.

It takes time to figure out the best way to get things done, and it takes the right attitude not to rut out and miss chances for promotion once you’ve carved a path for yourself in your role. Here are the four things to do from day one at your new gig.

1. Set goals for the first 90 days.

You were hired for a reason, and don’t forget you have to prove that you can deliver on that. Establish goals targeting the first 90 days. When people ask how things are going you can point to these goals and their challenges.

2. Arrive early.

The importance of this cannot be overstated. Be there and be seen there early. It’s going to take you more time to do things because you’re new. Looking haggard with a bottle of Gatorade will not set the right tone.

3. Get Involved.

It’s OK to look overeager when you’re the new guy or girl. Try to work with as many people as you can. Join clubs and try to become a part of the culture.

4. Ask Questions.

No one is going to explain everything to you. Most managers and co-workers will give you a task and let you figure it out. And the only way to figure it out is by asking as many questions as you can. The truth is people will be glad you did even if they seem pressed for the time at the moment. They’ll think back on it and what they’ll see is an eagerness and curiosity.

It’s a mixture of nervousness, fear and excitement of opportunity. Make the most of it. It’s better than life being boring. You were hired because you can add value, so don’t be passive but remember you’ll need to assimilate to the new place’s culture. Have fun and show em what you got.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

10 Tips for Better Time Management

posted by NextGen'rs |

It’s easy to get swallowed by your workload, but what you need to do is tame it. Well, as best you can. Here are some tips for winning the day.

1. Do the hard, ugly, non-sexy stuff first.

These tasks usually carry a mental weight that you want off your back. When things keep getting easier, your day builds momentum. When things get harder, your day hits a bump.

2. Just Say No.

You know what you can and can’t do. Don’t overcommit and turn into the evil, unfriendly overtasked you. Be honest with your manager. Your manager may not have a good enough vision into how much you’re doing. Don’t complain or be sarcastic, just be realistic and explain you won’t be able to take the extra task.

3. Don’t Skip Sleep.

The sandman will take his toll whether or not you’re sleeping 7-8 hours every day. You’ll burn out and be less valuable to everyone.

4. Concentrate on the Important Stuff.

It’s easy to forget to weigh the importance of your tasks when you’re in full-blown multi-task mode. Keep asking yourself is this what’s important now. If the answer is no, well you get it.

5. Exercise.

Keep charged without drinking awful-tasting “energy.” You’ll feel better.

6. Get Organized.

It’s no fun having to look for things. They take you out of your game and make you angry. Not a good way to start anything.

7. Reward Yourself.

Don’t keep plodding onto social media when you’re supposed to be working. Work then get a real reward, maybe a fancy coffee?

8. Get an Early Start.

You’ll feel like you’ve accomplished more and will have earned some slack-off time at 2 or 3 for leisurely chats with folks.

9. Don’t Let Details Derail You.

That doesn’t mean you sacrifice quality for speed. It just means keep in mind you need to finish and you can’t let a minor detail take away from the larger good.

10. Give Your Brain More Time.

When you start a project or a task, you get the ball rolling in your head. So even when you’re not actively working on the project, your brain is still processing through it and solving problems. So initiate things and scope your tasks early. Don’t think, well that’s gonna take a while, I’ll get to it later. Start it as soon as you can, and enjoy the amazing fruits of your subconscious mind.

And you should celebrate your achievements. You should even brag about yourself a little to others.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

What to do When you Don’t Get the Job

posted by NextGen'rs |

On average, a polar bear makes about 20 attempts hunting for food before he succeeds and can enjoy a nice polar bear meal (they eat seals, so it’s not a happy ending for everyone but stay with me). If this is the first or twelfth rejection you’ve gotten from a company you’ve interviewed with, you’re still beating the polar bear.

There are many reasons why candidates aren’t chosen, and so many are arbitrary and have nothing to do with how well you suit the job, or, quite frankly, you. If you felt you gave a great interview and have the right skills, don’t dwell on the outcome. Though, one thing you should do is ask politely for feedback. But keep in mind this feedback may or may not be good. If you keep getting the same feedback, then it starts becoming more persuasive, and the good news with that is that now you know what you need to do to improve.

The problem with rejections is that we take them personally and we shouldn’t really. I know, easy said. But the better you are at getting past the negative emotions, and these things hurt, the quicker you’re likely to land the job you really want. After you’ve licked your wounds move on and start envisioning your success. As new-agey as that might sound, it really does work. You want to position yourself towards the best outcome, and you start by doing this mentally.

Don’t lower your standards. You’ve worked hard for your title, and you’re not likely to be happy taking a job you think is below it. Hold out for as long as you can. Maybe pick up freelance or contract work to pay the bills before you settle on a position you’re not really happy with. And always remember, you’re still beating the polar bear.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Three Questions for your Interviewer: Get a True Sense of a Company’s Culture

posted by NextGen'rs |

A good company culture leads to loyalty, infectious employee enthusiasm, and a significant reduction in labor costs. It’s something everyone wants, but for whatever reason (there are myriad, and we’ll blog on that later) it doesn’t always happen. So how can you get a sense of a company’s culture when you know everyone is going to say we really value teamwork here at X?

It’s not easy, but ask about the culture and how they’d characterize it and pay close attention to what sort of body language you get when the interviewer answers. Here are three questions to help you get a better sense.

1. What sort of attributes or traits do people who do well at the company tend to have?

You may just get something along the lines of “they’re hard workers,” which is kind of like you answering that your weakness is that you work too hard, but go ahead and forgive them for their lack of creativity. You have two more questions.

2. If you were going to brag about your company at a dinner party how would you do it?

Hypotheticals are fun, as are dinner parties, at least in theory. You might open up your interviewers imagination more if you set a fun context.

3. Is there a general shared pet peeve among everyone, something everyone rolls their eyes at?

So this is where you actually want to see a face light up and an honest answer. You want to see that people aren’t afraid to air a collective grievance, even if it’s something small like a printer that never works or a sink that always clogs. Every office has a quirky pet grievance and hopefully you can get your interviewer off script and comfortable enough to share it, and the answer will usually reveal how close the team is.

Company culture is an intangible asset, and that means it’s not something that can be foisted on a workforce by upper management. It’s a goal that must be shared and that everyone needs to be committed to. It may be intangible, but it’s very important. It’s much easier to achieve great things when you’re supported by a culture that also wants you to achieve great things.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

The Where and the How Much: Tech Jobs

posted by NextGen'rs |

It shouldn’t be too surprising that San Francisco leads the way with tech jobs, but it also has a pretty steep cost-of-living. Austin, on the other hand, has a lot of tech jobs and much lower cost-of-living. We hear the weather’s pretty nice too, and it gets cool points for the South by Southwest festival. Atlanta and Arlington also have similarly lower cost-of-living and plenty of tech jobs, and mild winters (take that NYC, Boston and Chicago!)

San Francisco (Duh!) 265
San Jose 210
Seattle 211
Boston 223
Austin 177
San Diego 189
Arlington 150
New York City 271
Atlanta 183
Chicago 227

Cost of Living Index Composite Score from https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/country/united-states

Know the Code

And Data Scientist still tops the list with Software Engineer and Architect not far behind. UX is about to tackle the 6 figures, but fell just a G short.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

The Race to 5G is Heating Up

posted by NextGen'rs |

5G is almost here

5G may be closer than we thought. Most expected 5G to surface in 2020, but it turns out Verizon doesn’t want to wait that long, and is slating 2017 for initial deployment. So the race to the “fatter pipe” is on with 30-50x greater speeds and drastically reduced latency (or response times) on the line.

What’s the problem with rushing 5G to the market?

If the technology isn’t ready you’ll have egg on your face, and that isn’t easy to wipe off. If it is ready, then you will have ushered it in, and all of your customers get to join you on the VIP float, waving at all the poor folks still on 4G. Of course this makes it easier for Verizon’s competitors to get to the technology if Verizon has to use all of its infrastructure to weed out the bugs and then there’s the R&D expenses that later adopters won’t have to deal with.

Companies who adopt later do so at a much smaller cost, but they can’t bring their customers to the next level as quickly. This is why Verizon gets to charge more for its service, and if 5G deploys smoothly, it differentiates Verizon greatly from the competition, and people pay more for that sort of thing.

What does it mean for us?

It could be a really big leap forward. Think of companies like Uber that have risen only because of this sort of technology enabled it. What will 5G mean for things like driverless cars? What does it mean for operating more sophisticated machinery remotely? Well we won’t have to wait too much longer to find out.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

The Interview Experience is Better in Tech

posted by NextGen'rs |

Maybe it’s the general pressure you see everywhere in tech to make things more human. Maybe that’s why people walk away pleased with the attention paid to the interview process at tech companies. They’ve really thought the experience through on a human level.

Glassdoor recently did an informal study to see which companies provided all-around good interview experiences based solely on feedback from interviewees. The companies had to receive 100 reviews to be eligible, and the results were a little surprising. Keep in mind these were largely executive-level positions, so many of the interviews involved travel and accommodations that the interviewers had to take care of, which brings in logistical challenges as well.

Tech Companies Had Decisive Hiring Managers

Intel led the pack with a 71% satisfaction rating. The interview process lasted three days, which consisted of one-on-one meetings where managers asked questions about math problems and things like game theory, but it never felt like a process. More of an opportunity to talk about the things the candidates loved.

Cerner also scored a 71% with participants agreeing that the process was well organized and the questions asked were good ones that figured out what team the candidate would excel in, if any. What annoyed people the most was when they could feel the bureaucracy or inefficiencies of the place, which manifested itself in things like mixups at the airport to a poorly timed lunch.

Respecting Top Talent by Better Understanding It

Apple, VMware, Epic, HP and IBM all made the top ten. What really set these companies apart was how thoughtful their questions seemed to candidates. It wasn’t just about how would you code this or that but technical discussions about real software engineering problems. In other words, the candidates felt their strengths better understood at these companies, and had more confidence their skills would be put to better use there.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Evolution of the Interview

posted by NextGen'rs |

Technology has changed the way we interact. It’s made, at least, the logistics of communication a lot easier and a lot quicker, even if it hasn’t improved the quality of the conversations you have with your boss.

The efficiencies have had a clear impact on every industry as well as on the interview process, and it’s all happened kinda fast. So it’s fun to step back and take a look at how things have shaped, and since we love witty infographics, we enjoyed this one created by Spark Hire.

The-Evolution-of-the-Job-Interview-Infographic-972